The 2019 Cadillac XT5 returns for the new model year as the luxury brand’s mid-size crossover SUVâ€”soon to be joined by a bigger, three-row XT6.
Changes are few for the 2019 XT5. In addition to three new color choices, a next-generation 15-watt wireless smartphone charger replaces the previous 5-watt setup.
Trim levels include base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum.
Beneath each XT5 hood, a husky 3.6.-liter V-6 engine generates 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. All that power reaches an 8-speed automatic transmission, before arriving at either the front wheels or all four wheels. Dual-clutch all-wheel drive is standard only on the top Platinum model.
Low-speed automatic braking is standard on Premium Luxury and Platinum models, and optional for the Premium edition; it’s not offered for the base XT5. Cadillac bundles the feature with other technology from active lane control to blind-spot monitors and automatic high-beam headlights.
Full-speed automatic emergency braking comes with a Driver Assist Package, optional on Premium Luxury and Platinum trim levels. That package also includes adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking while in reverse gear.
The NHTSA gave the all-wheel-drive 2019 XT5 five stars overall. The IIHS rated the 2019 XT5 â€œGoodâ€ in every crash test it performed, but hasn’t rated it in the small-overlap test yet.
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
Base XT5 ($41,695 with front-drive, $44,695 with all-wheel drive) includes a power liftgate, power front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and 18-inch wheels.
Luxury ($48,495 with FWD, $50,995 with AWD) adds leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, front/rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, and a panoramic moonroof. The Driver Awareness Package includes low-speed automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and lane-departure warnings.
Premium Luxury ($54,195 with FWD, $56,695 with AWD) includes LED headlights, 20-inch alloy wheels, navigation, and an adjustable performance suspension.
Platinum AWD ($65,895) gets a unique grille, semi-aniline leather, head-up display, a surround-view camera system, 8.0-inch instrument cluster screen, and 20-inch wheels.
Although the XT5 wears Cadillac’s most recent design themes, it’s softer and more subtly shaped than the luxury automaker’s other crossovers and SUVs. Straddling the dimensional line between compact and mid-size, it has a tall profile and subtle details.
It’s an exercise in restraint, though swept-back vertical LED headlights are fairly dramatic.
Crisply styled, the handsome XT5 cabin feels luxurious. Real or simulated wood trim decorates the interior. High-quality materials translate to a satisfying feel inside, though the XT5 Platinum dresses up with lots of metallic trim.
Base models feature durable synthetic leather upholstery. Upper trim levels turn to genuine leather. Platinum takes another step, into semi-aniline leather.
Standard power-adjustable front seats provide solid support. Luxury and higher trim levels incorporate lumbar adjustment.
Because an XT5 is somewhat narrower than many competitors, space can be snug in the back seat. Two adults fit comfortably, however.
On the dashboard, the infotainment display is visually appealing, even flashy. Capacitive-type touch buttons for climate control hide below the dashboard trim. Though it can take a while to learn, the infotainment system includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen and offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
Cargo space totals 30 cubic feet, but can be enlarged by moving the 60/40-split rear bench fore and aft. Maximum capacity, with rear seatbacks down, reaches 63 cubic feet.
The XT5 delivers on the most important quality a crossover can offer on the road, with its comfortable ride.
The XT5 feels subtly sporty. Robust acceleration comes from its familiar V-6, especially in front-drive models. Its 8-speed automatic runs through the gears with crisp action.
The fully-independent suspension yields a gratifying ride. On upper trim levels, a magnetic suspension adjusts damping continuously, making a noticeable difference. That’s especially helpful on Platinum models, with their 20-inch wheels.
Handling with competence, the XT5 has light power steering that tracks well on interstates when it’s set to comfort mode. Sport mode adds heft, but most drivers won’t notice.
Even with all-wheel drive, the XT5 is no off-road trekker. Then again, neither are its competitors.
An XT5 is reasonably thrifty, considering its V-6 power, and uses regular gasoline. Front-wheel-drive models are EPA-rated at 19/26 mpg City/Highway, or 22 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive drops each number by 1 mpg, to 18/25/21 mpg. All versions use one of the better stop/start systems.
The 2019 Cadillac XT5 offers an upscale feel and comfortable front seats â€“ par for the luxury crossover course. It’s spacious and has subtle touches of luxury and charm, and its V-6 drivetrain has ample acceleration.
Driving impressions by The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.